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On AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 333 FSB, nForce2 and VIA

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Nvidia has confirmed that the nForce 2 graphics chipset is in production, timing the announcement to coincide with today's big CPU launch, the AMD Athlon XP 2800+ with the 333 frontside bus (FSB). A data throughput improvement of "up to 25 per cent" is promised by AMD for its new CPU. nForce 2-powered mobos should be heading their way in to retail by the end of this month.

VIA today also issued a press release pointing out that it already has two chipsets, the VIA Apollo KT400 and VIA Apollo KT333, which support AMD's 333 FSB. So it can provide an upgrade path for gamers who want to install a new 333FSB Athlon - so long as they have the right board of course.

But today's chipset PR thunder belongs to Nvidia. After all, VIA makes so many chipsets and manages to launch most of them when when it says it will. Unlike Nvidia which is several months late with nForce 2.

nForce 2 mobos will mesh performance GeForce graphics chips with performance Athlon XPs, to produce the AMD gaming experience du jour. Nvidia is keen to see nForce2-based mobos paired up with fast DDR memory. Inhouse, the company is running compatibility tests with DDR400 memory and it has also teamed up with Advanced Validation Labs and Computer Memory Test Labs to run nForce 2compatibility tests for the "widest possible selection of DDR memories, including DDR333".

Taiwan's mobo makers and US system builders are queuing up to flog nForce 2. You want a list of partners with nForce samples? Here it is:

Abit, ABS, Alienware, Aopen, ASUSTeK, Atlas Micro, Chaintech, Epox, Falcon Northwest, HyperSonic, Leadtek, MSI, Shuttle Computer, Soltech, Totally Awesome, and Vicious PC.

And just how fast is the nForce 2/2800+ 333MHz FSB?

Here's a friendly quote from Kelt Reeves, president of Falcon Northwest. "Based on our analysis, it's delivering better performance with DDR333 than equivalent 1066 RDRAM based systems - and at a considerable cost savings."

We'll wait for the reviews of production systems. These will be out late November time, when the first Athlon XP 2800+ and 2700+ 333MHz FSB PCs roll off the assembly lines.

AMD is taking an interesting approach with the launch, opting for Limited edition desktop systems featuring the AMD Athlon XP processor 2800+ targeted at PC enthusiasts and gamers ... exclusively from premier enthusiast PC manufacturers ABS, Alienware, Falcon Northwest, MicronPC and Voodoo PC."

In other words top dollar for some faithful North American system builders while silicon is in short supply. The AMD Athlon XP processors 2800+ and 2700+ will cost $397 and $349 each in 1,000-unit quantities each. ®

A gaggle of press releases

nForce goes into production
And it's really groovy with the new Athlon XPs
VIA's groovy too
AMD gamer/enthusiast launch

AMD XP 2800+ Reviews/previews

Tom's Hardware
Ace's Hardware
Extremetech
HardOCP
Anandtech - nForce 2 v. VIA
Anandtech - AMD XP 2800+

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